Following the recent passing away of Mickey Baker, R&B and Rock'n'roll pioneer, author of the first Method book on the electric guitar (: "Mickey Baker's Complete Course in Jazz Guitar"), there is still some debate to be found over who actually wrote his biggest and most perenial hit : "Love is Strange" he had in 1956 performing as an R&B duo, Mickey & Sylvia, with Sylvia Vanderpool (who later became Sylvia Robinson, future record label executive founder/CEO of Hip Hop label Sugar Hill Records, instigator behind two landmark singles in the genre : "Rapper's Delight" by Sugarhill Gang, the first rap song by a hip hop act, and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's "The Message"!).
At a concert at Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C. Mickey & Sylvia heard Jody Williams play a guitar riff that Williams had played on Billy Stewart's debut single "Billy's Blues". The instrumentation combined Blues with Afro-Cuban stylings. Sylvia Robinson claims that she and Mickey Baker then wrote the lyrics to that guitar riff, while Bo Diddley claims that he wrote them. The first recorded version of "Love is Strange" was performed by Bo
Diddley, who recorded his version on May 24, 1956 with Jody Williams on
lead guitar. This version was not released until its appearance on I'm a Man: The Chess Masters, 1955-1958 in 2007. Mickey & Sylvia's version was recorded several months later on October 17, 1956... while "Billy's Blues" was released as a single June 1956!
... Now, Who do you think actually wrote the song?!
I have a strong feeling myself it was Mickey Baker since he later took credit for one of the French adaptations he co-produced 12 years later with French Swingin' Mademoiselle Actress and singer Françoise Deldick : "Hum! Hum!" (which version one "A. Béréssi" took co-credit... probably the French lyricist!). Had Bo really writen it, under the pseudonym of his wife Ethel Smith, Bo Diddley being also that popular a R'n'R star in France, he would have gone to court to reclaim his rights, don't you think?
Besides, the song is noted for its spoken dialogue section which goes as follows:
"How do you call your Lover Boy?"
"Come here, Lover Boy!"
"And if he doesn't answer?"
"Oh, Lover Boy!"
"And if he still doesn't answer?"
"I simply say..."
... Now would Elias McDaniels have written those lines? I ask you.
The Motions were the TOP Mod Dutch band, featuring pre-Shocking Blue leader Robbie Leuwen on lead guitar... They were regular visitors in Paris alongside fellow countrymen the Outsiders, so as such they were invited to perform on quite a few French TV programs...
Right prior to becoming arch UK Psych band, Art, then the more reknowned late sixties Heavy band Spooky Tooth, the VIPs were a very Popular mod band active in the French Club circuit... hence, a lot of footage of the band comes exclusively from French stages and TV!
Welcome to a new ongoing series of freaky, funky, cool, and occasionally downright weird cover songs! A great cover can not only put a smile on our faces by delivering a familiar song in a new light, but also show another side of the performer's personality.
First off, we have New York City's Blues Project delivering a butt kicking version of the excellent Chuck Berry b-side "I Want To Be Your Driver", from 1967. The band ups the intensity of Chuck's original, and features some firey breaks on guitar (Danny kalb) and organ (Al Kooper).
While they certainly weren't British (the band hailed from Washington DC), they are certainly strutting their stuff on this picture which is found on a Spanish picture sleeve release, containing their stomping version of the Sam Cooke/ Small Faces/ Otis Redding favorite. The Willett Brothers (real brothers Tom and Charlie who replaced original singer Bobby Howard, who left when he found out other members trademarked the name) shows off some excellent blue eyed soul vocal chops on this track from 1967.
Happy Birthday Ike Turner! (November 5, 1931 ~ December 12, 2007)
"Aired in 1959, here are Ike Turner & his Kings of Rhythm featuring Jimmy Thomas performing three popular song on that period on the "PARTY TIME" St. Louis TV show, produced by George Edick, the famed owner of the Club Imperial. Ike Turner & his Kings of Rhythm were the resident band."
"Charlie Brown has a hit in 1959 by the Coasters." "So Fine was a hit in 1959 by The Fiestas." "Splish Splash was a hit in 1958 by Bobby Darin."
Here's the final installment of my three-part series on the pre-Funkadelic productions of George Clinton. I've left out the Parliaments (plural) recordings from '67-'69, as they are relatively well known, amazing and easily obtained. Original copies of Pat Lewis' INCREDIBLE 1967 release "No One To Love" are nearly impossible to track down (no, I do not own an original, but this weird bootleg, probably pressed in the UK in the '80's). This record is a milestone in Detroit soul, and why it's so rare is a mystery (even a beat up copy will fetch over $2000). Perhaps it was hastily withdrawn; I have never heard a plausible explanation to its scraceness, but I can attest to its greatness.
No One To Love Clinton, along with the great J.J Barnes fully realized the soul potential found in the Beatles "Day Tripper" when this groundbreaking record was released in late '65, and they cut a VERY hard driving version to wax in '66. J.J's career, which begain in 1960, never achieved the fame that this exceptionally talented singer (and songwriter) so deserved.